This section gives you detailed information about importing pets into the Cayman Islands, including current regulations and laws, restrictions on importing pets from various countries and the limitations on importing specific breeds of dogs, plus insider tips on making the process easier.
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The Cayman Islands is a fantastic place to have a pet with plenty of outdoor space for them to enjoy. There is also a great network of Veterinarians, Dog Trainers, Pet Groomers and Kennels and Pet Sitters.
The process for importing animals into Cayman is a lengthy one. Pet parents will need to start planning at least six months in advance. All pets entering the Cayman Islands must have an import permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA). Application forms are available from the DOA (Tel: (345) 947 3090 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org) at 181 Lottery Road, Lower Valley in Grand Cayman. The Cayman Islands are rabies-free, and to keep this deadly disease out, no import exceptions will be made by the Government. We advise contacting them as soon as possible for the relevant application form and the most current import requirements.
At this time, requirements in order to obtain an Import Permit include:
- Having your pet fitted with a microchip and submitting a certificate showing the date of the implant;
- Being up-to-date on all vaccinations, including rabies;
- Having a rabies titre (blood) test performed;
- Having tick and tapeworm treatments performed;
- Completing an application form within 14 days of travel;
- Gaining an Official Veterinary Health Certificate;
- Submitting payment of CI$50 (USD $61) to process your application;
- Submitting a current photo of your pet.
For animals being imported from countries that have rabies, there is at least a two month wait from when they are rabies titre tested (and gain a successful result) before they can travel. For countries that are rabies-free, the requirements are less stringent and much quicker. We advise that you follow the DOA’s directions exactly as requested, and that you keep in touch with them throughout the process, or use a local broker, as there is no leeway in dates or exceptions made if you have forgotten to do something.
All animals and paperwork will be inspected upon arrival and an inability to meet all requirements can lead to the animal being put down, or returned to the country of origin, all at the expense of the owner. There are no pet detention or quarantine facilities in the Cayman Islands.
Restrictions - Breeds & Country of Origin
In accordance with the Animals Law (2013 Revision), no animal of any description may be directly imported into the Cayman Islands from any country in Asia, Africa or Central and South America. Other territories from which dogs and cats are prohibited are Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
You can also visit Pet Travel for some more information about banned breeds, however this information may not be up-to-date as the DOA has recently changed the import laws. Please contact The Department of Agriculture for a complete list of banned breeds.
All animals, no matter what size, must travel in a leak proof, International Air Transport Association specification carrier.
There are several companies who can manage the process for you when importing a pet into Cayman.
Pets Entering from the UK or the US
There are specific guidelines and processes to follow for pets entering from the UK or USA.
Pets leaving the UK to enter the Cayman Islands must meet all the DOA requirements. Pets leaving the UK by plane must travel as cargo or checked baggage unless flying on a private charter or as an assistance animal. UK residents will need to apply to DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) for an Official Health Certificate, visit www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.
A registered UK shipper such as Animal Couriers or Pet Air must be used to deliver your pet to the aircraft and can answer any questions and assist with all the logistics including DEFRA, airline booking, travel crates, liaising with DOA and/or a Cayman Islands pet travel broker such as Cayman Canine Training Services, Must Love Dogs, Pack Pet and Go, Love Your Dog or Cayman Pet Paradise.
Pets Entering from Jamaica
Pets entering Cayman from Jamaica must have received a combination vaccine against Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis, at a minimum of 12 weeks of age after the microchip was inserted.
Cats must have received a combination vaccine against Feline Enteritis and Calici virus at a minimum of 12 weeks of age. Dogs must be tested for rabies and receive a tick and tapeworm treatment. Following this, your pet must be examined and issued with an Official Veterinary Health Certificate. Once issued with the certificate, you must submit it with a completed application form for an Import Permit and a non-refundable application fee to the Cayman Islands DOA.
Importing Captive Birds
All captive cage birds (e.g. parrots, budgerigars, lovebirds, finches and toucans) must also be accompanied by an Import Permit issued by the DOA.